Dinesh and Bawa

Dinesh and Bawa


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Last Official (?!) Post here...

Thank you everyone for having the patience and sharing the excitement as we created our site exactly as we wanted it...

You will see that the links on the top don't work yet, some graphics may be slightly out of place, but i don't want to hold out any longer... Things will get polished and start to work the way they are supposed to in a few days/weeks as we put more and more of the site together... i had no idea getting a site up would be so much of work :) but the main section is done... and now ready to be viewed...

Rupal did the designing... and its absolutely brilliant! We fought for hours about which colours go where and how it should look ... but even she is happy with the result :)

Prasanth did the programming... hours and hours of it... nudging things into place with infinite patience... not complaining even once when i would change something he had spent 2 hours on :)

He convinced me to move to Wordpress from Blogger and i must say i am glad i did it. For the Look and feel i had in mind, blogger simply couldn't cut it with the way it is now... Wordpress is a PAIN to set up, but once its up and running its an absolute pleasure to use...

Dinesh and i are really, really proud of this site (its become so much more than just a blog) that so many people have helped create.

Here it is for you to see...

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

The Secret of Lord Ganesha III

Shiva had granted a boon to Ganesha that before anything auspicious is begun, Ganesha’s name would be invoked... So Ganesha also represents the beginnings of anything good.

When light passes through a prism and breaks into its constituent colours, Red is the first colour visible to the human eye... The beginning! Lord Ganesha’s signature colour is red. How astonishingly scientific!

Every year, especially in the city of Mumbai, around the beginning of September, the festival of Lord Ganesha is celebrated with great reverence, enthusiasm and joy. Lakhs of idols of Ganeshji are installed for 10 days with great pomp and ceremony. Small idols find their way in various people’s houses and really giant ones (3 floors high) are installed in various colonies all over the city. Poojas and Aartis are done, Prasad is given... And everyone has a great time.

The energy and feeling of the entire city completely changes as the atmosphere gets charged with the mantras and the devotion of millions of people... It is a magical time to be there...

On the last day however, all these idols are taken and submerged into the seas off the coast of Mumbai... To the cries of “Ganapati Bappa Moriya!! Pudhcha Varshi Laukar Yaa!!!” Meaning Victory to Lord Ganesha, Come back to us quickly next year...

(By the way, this does affect the seas and the environment, but more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious and having Ganeshji’s idols made out of quickly degradable materials... I am sure soon we will see very green Ganapati Festivals in Mumbai!)

There is a great significance to this: All the Gods are within us... In every cell of our Being. During the festivals, with great reverence we ask them to manifest themselves in the idols so we can worship them and play with them... Once we are done with the celebration, the final Pooja mantras actually invite the Gods back within us... So now its just a pretty statue... And so that we can learn non attachment, all the idols are put in the sea... This is done every year, to keep reminding ourselves about our own Divinity... And of course to celebrate and enjoy this great journey called Life!

Ganapati Bappa Moriya!!
Pudhcha Varshi Laukar Yaa!!!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Last (official?!) Post here...

Thank you everyone for having the patience and sharing the excitement as we created our site exactly as we wanted it...

You will see that the links on the top don't work yet, some graphics may be slightly out of place, but i don't want to hold out any longer... Things will get polished and start to work the way they are supposed to in a few days/weeks as we put more and more of the site together... i had no idea getting a site up would be so much of work :) but the main section is done... and now ready to be viewed...

Rupal did the designing... and its absolutely brilliant! We fought for hours about which colours go where and how it should look ... but even she is happy with the result :)

Prasanth did the programming... hours and hours of it... nudging things into place with infinite patience... not complaining even once when i would change something he had spent 2 hours on :)

He convinced me to move to Wordpress from Blogger and i must say i am glad i did it. For the Look and feel i had in mind, blogger simply couldn't cut it with the way it is now... Wordpress is a PAIN to set up, but once its up and running its an absolute pleasure to use...

Dinesh and i are really, really proud of this site (its become so much more than just a blog) that so many people have helped create.

Here it is for you to see...

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Moving has started...

Please do not post any more comments here, coz they will not be reflected on the new site...
Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One more sneak peek :)

Here is how part of the side bar looks... pretty no?! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Start Living!

Somehow i don't want to premier the site on 9/11

At 6:15 am on the 12th of September, we will unveil the new site... I have already written the last post... and it's scheduled to appear here at this time... Why this time? Well... let's just say it's a very special time for me :)

Meanwhile here is a superb thingie i wrote...

Q: Do we all need someone in our life to make us feel happy? cant we be happy all by ourselves ? i mean its not necessary that everyone finds the right person so does it mean that he/she should wait for that person to come in our lives and make us feel happy or can we be happy in the absence of anybody?

A: As long as you have Guruji in your life, you don’t really need anyone else :). However, if you have another person in your life, who shares the same love that you do for Guruji, for the Knowledge, for Seva, Sadhana and Satsang, then both of you can pull each other up and such a relationship can be an asset for you, and the other person.

People who need people for their happiness become like parasites to each other. Possessiveness, guilt, anger follow very quickly and annihilate whatever love that might have been there. You can’t stay alone by yourself and be happy, you are bored... So you go out and bore some others... Don’t feel too bad, even they are the same... Majority of the people are like that: disturbed, bored, not at peace and not comfortable with themselves. And they want to inflict their company on others who are more or less in the same boat... This sadness we term as society!

You need to be whole and complete by yourself. And the other person needs to be the same too... Actually, there's nothing to do except have the realization that you already are indeed whole and complete... Then you don’t need each other to have a fulfilling life experience, but, if you are together, then you complement each other and true enchantment happens!

Instead of having the usual check list for your “perfect” person... Start making yourself eligible for that person! See what are the things you need to be, so that you can become a “perfect” match for someone else :)

And you will see that that person will magically appear for you! This “right” person may already be there for you in your life...

When the Guru steps into your life... Things change... Wisdom, Love, Peace and Happiness dawn. At last you are utterly comfortable being you! And like a brilliant light, you bring life and brightness wherever you go... Finally you stop asking the question What about me? What about me?

You become eligible for truly satisfying, wonderful relationships.

You start Living!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Almost the Last post here...

In about 4 hours, we should be ready to roll out the new blog...
Its not complete, but it will do... and we will keep adding everything else that's needed to make it even more interesting...
Sneak Peek: Here is what the Categories look like:

Stay tuned...
Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

The Secret of Lord Ganesha II

Ganeshji is the remover of obstacles... Obstacles are there because there is no Knowledge and awareness... as soon as wisdom dawns, all obstacles and problems just vanish like dew in the sunlight...And really what obstacle can stand in the way of an elephant?!

He has a huge stomach which signifies an all accepting nature... He is the Lord of all kinds of groups (Gan means group), so He accepts everyone... but He also wears a snake as a belt around the stomach, which means that He accepts you, but with the full awareness of a snake! It is not passive chalta hai attitude acceptance, but an active, participative acceptance...

He has many hands, one holds a rope, another a poke and still another a modak (yummy sweet).

He offers you the modak (sweet) of Wisdom and Knowledge and when you come near to Him to take it, He quickly ties you with the rope (probably while you are eating it)... meaning that once Wisdom has dawned, you can never really go back to whatever you used to be!

And it may happen that even having all the Knowledge and Wisdom, you may feel low, unhappy or miserable... then He pokes you (remember the snake? He accepts you as you are, doesn't cast you away, but takes action after accpetance)... to wake you up to Reality... And sometimes if the poking is too much for you and you try to run away (you can't He has got you tied with the rope! :)), He gives you the sweet, the Knowledge :) and that brings you back to Him. And so Lord Ganesha binds you sweetly and firmly to Himself!

He is Vinayaka. The peerless leader. He reports to no one!

And the mouse?

The mouse nibbles the veils of ignorance that surround our consiousness, so that true Knowledge can get established in the Self. So, Lord Ganesha rides the mouse who eats away the anger, the ignorance and allows the Bliss of Knowledge to dawn...

Thus Lord Ganesha is the gift of Lord Shiva for Parvati to teach and nurture her to always be in her true nature... The Celebration and Bliss of the Self!

Ganapati Bappa Moriya!!!
Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Secret of Lord Ganesha I

Click The Birth of Lord Ganesha to read about the very weird tale of how Lord Ganesha was born. What follows is the interpretation of that story...

Parvati is the Celebrative aspect of our consciousness. Parvat means mountain: The Earth herself rising up in celebration...

Now Parvati was dirty, meaning, the celebration had gone out of life, feeling of sadness, etc had arisen, and she decides to take a bath (be alone)...When you are not feeling good (your celebratory aspect is dirty), you say, give me my space, leave me alone...

The dirt that comes off her and she gives life to is the Ego... She tells the Ego see that no one disturbs me while i am not feeling well... dont let anyone come in!

Thats exactly what most people do when they are not feeling good: people usually isolate themsleves, feel separate from everyone and dont like others around them...

This is the significance of Parvati animating her ego and asking it not to let anyone disturb her because she is feeling dirty.

Lord Shiva is the protector of Parvati. So when He sees her that way with her ego standing guard, keeping the Bliss of the Self out, He does what any protector would do... Kills it!

Chopping off the head signifies killing the ego... Now, when you have had your ego trampled upon, you are going to feel even more hurt and bewildered, which is where Parvati flares up... to appease her and teach her, Lord Shiva replaces the child's (ego) head with an elephant head.

The Elephant in Hindu mythology is held in great reverence. In old times, if a lover wanted to praise his girlfriend, he would tell her she is like an elephant... That was supposed to be the ultimate praise! Please don't try this today... you just might get flattened :)

The big head symbolizes Knowledge. The eyes of the elephant are kind, full of compassion and innocence: the most beautiful in the animal Kingdom. So Shiva replaces the head of ego (ignorance) with Knowledge and innocence! That's not all, if you have ever seen an elephant walk, stately and strong, you can see that nothing can stand in its way! So Shivji removed the ego and replaced it with Strength, Grace, Knowledge and innocence. What a superb combination! And the perfect gift for an angry, sulking wife! :)

Lord Shiva then names the child, Ganesh. The Lord of Knowledge and Wisdom.

Tomorrow more will be revealed about the mouse and some other really fascinating aspects of Ganeshji...

Jai Gurudeva!



ps Dinesh is flying with Guruji to Oslo for the Nobel Laureates Conference... hopefully he will be posting about the goings on there :)


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Quick Update

it's 3:30 AM... the internet connection in my room in Vishwamitra is down because of a storm... The blog is coming along... but not yet fit to be seen by all of you... I would say it's 75% done!

After making everyone wait so long, i want to show you guys something really nice... where almost everything works :)

Soooo ... Please hold on for a few more hours ... Lemme catch some sleep and we will start working on it again

Good Night!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, September 8, 2008

Still Counting :)

I thought Monday Morning would be when it would happen ... Maybe today evening? Maybe a bit before that? Maybe tomorrow morning ... Keep coming back and checking ...

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


The birth of Lord Ganesha is one of the weirdest tales i have ever come across...

Shiva's wife Parvati decides to take a bath... While bathing, a lot of dirt comes off her body (may have been meditating many years... these things accumalate :)), and being creative (pun intended) puts that dirt into the form of a really handsome child... and being a Goddess blew life into the child and asked him to wait outside (she could be modest too) and not let anyone come in till she finished her bath (and accessorizing)...

So the little kid goes out and waits and soon enough along comes Shiva, and asks the boy to step aside and let him go in. Boy refuses. Shiva gets angry. Shiva shouts and threatens. Boy doesn't budge. Shiva chops off boy's head! (Children in those days faced pretty harsh disciplining)

Parvati is very upset when she comes to know Shiva has killed her son ... son?! Shiva must have thought... when did that happen?!!... in any case to make her feel better, Shiva chops off the head of a passing elephant and attaches that to the body of the fallen child and gives Him life... Parvati is aghast at how her son looks and says everyone will mock him... no one will respect him... Lord Shiva smiles benignly and says that He will give a boon to the little Ganesha that before any Pooja or ritual of any kind is started, He, Ganesha will have to be worshiped first!

Parvati is quite mollified by this, but demands a vehicle for Ganesha... Shiva presents Ganesha with a mouse as his vehicle... Parvati was very happy with that and the family lived happily for many eons to come (ever after really as far as us humans are concerned)

And that's how Lord Ganesha was born... like is said it is a very weird story with plenty of really big loop holes and questions! To start with Parvati must have been really REALLY dirty for so much dirt to come off her... Then Shiva is the Lord of the Universe, if a small kid told Him to come back later, He could have gone somewhere, looked after a galaxy or two, meditated or something :)... but no, He chops off the kid's head!

Then He puts an elephants head on the child and gives a mouse as a vehicle... no sense of proportion whatsoever!, should have been the other way round! Give a mouse's head and the elephant as a vehicle...

We could go on and on... but as usual there is a secret to the story... Come back tomorrow and you will find it :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, September 7, 2008


... to the new look :)

AND the new domain, both together... I think if all goes well, Monday morning's post will be on the new domain with the new look!!

Blogger has served me well for 200 posts... and its almost time to say good bye to this Magical Template which i have been using for a long time now... It was made by Amanda from Blogger Buster

Thank you for reading all that dinesh and i have written ... and commenting and laughing :)

See you all very soon, with the new improved "Sounds Interesting..."

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wal Mart woes

I got this on a mail ... was too funny not to post here ... have a good laugh!

Dear Mrs. Samsel,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Samsel are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away.'

4. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

5. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

6. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.

7. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

8. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

9. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

10. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

11. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

12. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and wh en people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

13. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least.

14. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.'

Tom Richards
Wal-Mart Manager  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Weekend Competition!

How many ways can you use the word up to mean different things depending on how you use it?
Make up a paragraph or a story using up in as many ways as possible!

Here is a start up for you:

As she was putting make up on her face, she made up her mind that she was going to close up the matter once and for all... She was fed up with the half truths that he was making up to cover up the stuff that she was suspecting he was up to... She looked up to the sky to get some strength to be able to one up him when she met up with him in a few minutes... She saw how the clouds were covering up the sun, just like she suspected him of covering up the truth...

I am going to leave the rest up to your imagination... and wind up this little post here :)

Most creative and maximum uses of up will get 100 EC credits and an invitation to lunch with me next time you are at Bangalore Ashram!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, September 5, 2008

Don't Look at the Moon!!

On the day (night) of Ganesh Chathurti, we are warned not to look at the moon... Mythology says that if you look at the moon on this night, then you will get blamed for something you didn't do!

So don't look at the moon!!!

This particular belief sounds quite odd... What if the rays of the moon touch you? Will you still get blamed? If you look at the reflection of the moon in water: You are not looking up at the sky, you are looking down and there it is... in the puddle of water! What then?!

Well, at least this Ganesh Chathurti, we in Bangalore Ashram were spared from the naughtiness of the moon... the sky was overcast and there was no chance to see the moon... but no one was taking any chances, everyone was walking about focused intently on the ground :)

Is there some deeper meaning to this? You bet there is! And i am not going to make you wait till tomorrow to read it either :)

The moon symbolizes the mind... Just as the moon waxes and wanes, the mind goes up and down... Some days it makes you feel good, other times it can drag you down into the pits of despair for the smallest of reasons... The mind is what constantly gets you into trouble...

Ganesha is the Lord of Wisdom and it is He who teaches us how to get over the vagrancies of the mind, how to be established firmly in Knowledge and let nothing shake us out from the Bliss of the Being. And so on the day when we are going to celebrate Lord Ganesha, we don't look at the moon... meaning Follow Knowledge, not your little mind!

Don't look at the moon! Don't let that small mind of yours rule you... Be in Knowledge, Be wise, Be happy!

Jai Gurudeva!

PS more about Lord Ganesha coming up...  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Apple and Potato Soup

Apple and Potato??? Yup you read it right! I ate (do you eat or drink soup? Well, whatever...) this soup in the ITC Eden Pavilion at Kolkata... and as usual modified it to taste better :)

It is incredibly simple to make and tastes otherworldly...

5 medium sized sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium sized chunks
3 small potatoes or 2 and a half medium sized potatoes which are cut into medium sized chunks, don't peel the skin and remember to wash and scrub them well before using.

We are using a little less than 1/2 the number of potatoes compared to apples.

2 cloves of garlic crushed
Few basil leaves
Olive Oil
A small piece of cheese grated
3 small cinnamon sticks
Salt to taste

In a pressure cooker, heat up a generous amount (3-5 tablespoons) of Olive oil and put in a tablespoon of butter (optional). add the garlic and cook till brown, add the basil leaves, stir for a minute. Add the salt.

Add potatoes and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then add the apple pieces and cook for another few minutes. Add the cinnamon sticks. Add the cheese. Add water to cover the entire mixture. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Remove from heat and put aside.

Allow the cooker to stand for about 10-15 minutes. Then remove the whistle and carefully open the cooker. Fish out the cinnamon sticks. and whirrr the whole mixture to a smooth consistency.

Garnish with a sprig of Parsley and serve piping hot. It's absolutely delicious. You don't need anything at all to go with it!  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

The New Look

for our blog is just a few hours away... once we upload the template its going to take a week or so to stabilise ... so please be patient if things dont work right :) and please keep giving comments on whats wrong and where and what else can be added

after things become alright we will migrate to our very own domain!!

I really like how it looks now and hope all of you will too :)

just a few hours more now...

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

3 Sutras to Samadhi

Before you sit to meditate, remember these three things:

1. Achaha: Meaning right now, i don't want anything... Right now, i want nothing...

2. Akinchen: Meaning I am nobody, i am nothing... just ask yourself... who am i? who is ? You will see you are nothing and nobody... dont bother intellectualizing this one... just know and experience that you are indeed nothing and nobody and relax...

3. Aprayatna: Effortlessness... To meditate there is nothing to do. Just be. Like when you go for a massage, you just lie there, do nothing and let the masseuse massage you... similarly, you just sit with your eyes closed and let the Guru Shakti meditate for you!

Before meditating, just relax and remember these 3 sutras (effortlessly)... they will allow you to sink blissfully into Samadhi!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This will require some planning.

Curdle about a liter of milk by adding juice of a lemon. Drain the water, we will not need it but its very healthy and can be used to make rice in or add to flour to make chapattis, etc. Hang the curdled part in a muslin cloth or a hanky. Its exactly the same way you hang curds.

After a few (5-7) hours, you will get a nice white mass which in Kolkata they call Chaannaa (or something similar)

Now you will need:

2 small carrots chopped finely
1/2 a cabbage chopped well
2 small potatoes boiled and mashed with lumps
handful of green peas parboiled (meaning just dipped in very hot water for a few minutes, so they get cooked but dont loose their fresh green colour)
Fresh spinach and coriander leaves finely chopped
Any other veggies you want to add... bits of french beans, broccoli, mushrooms are good ideas :). These should be cooked and/or chopped very fine.

Take bread (5-7 slices should be enough and stale whole wheat bread is best) and toast it in an oven for 10ish minutes or until very crisp but be careful not to burn it, then put in a grinder and powder it. To this add some (2 heaped tablespoons should be enough) rava (or suji or semolina). Keep aside.

Add all the veggies to the Chaannaa, add some garlic paste and salt to taste. Mix the whole thing up really well. Make spherical or ellipsoidal (sorry, cant think of any other words to describe it) medium sized shapes and roll them in the suji bread crumb powder so that they are totally covered.

Heat up oil to deep fry in a saucepan. When the oil is really hot, slide in the raw cutlets and fry for a few minutes till they become a yummy golden brown. I usually do only one at a time. Its pretty quick, a batch of about 15 cutlets will get done in less than 20 minutes.

Arrange on a platter. Serve very hot with a dash of lime and tomato slices, garnished with corriander!

This is one of the yummiest veggie cutlets i have ever had and i learned how to make them at Vibha's home in Kolkata.

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

AMEX and Art of Living II

The Jharkhand project has made it in the top 25... we are at 23!

ty everyone who voted!!

It's not over yet, now the top 25 will battle it out to get to top 5 and when that voting starts i will let everyone know... it could mean $2.5 Million to Art of Living (that's Rs 10 Crores!) ... imagine how many schools we could start in that much money in Jharkhand... so stay tuned and get ready to vote again in a few days!!

Thanks a lot again!

Jai Gurudeva!

ps here is what vijay wrote to everyone who voted, i reproduce his mail word for word :)

Dear All,



My sincere pranams & gratitude goes to out to each one of you who have nominated this project, to our US Care for Children team which has put up an amazing show, our India team spearheaded by Bava and the Ashram group who picked it up and PROPELLED it to the heights that it has reached and other non-AOL companions who have really worked together to reach this important milestone.


Care for Children is the most unique program among all of the top 25 nominated. No other project even comes close in vision and here are my reasons. The five categories chosen for funding are: Arts/Culture, Education, Health, Environment & Community. In real life, none of these exist in isolation. They must coexist to flourish. Care for Children is the only project that addresses ALL of them - from providing holistic education that strengthens the children & adults, providing healthcare and teaching yoga and meditation that addresses sound mind and body, teaching organic farming that cares for the environment, preserving culture and art forms of tribal, rural and urban communities and building the communities through social responsibility - WE HAVE IT ALL! Ours is simply the most comprehensive program that there is to build the future of this world!!! My complete surrender to our Guru for this Masterpiece!!! SO LET US ALL COME TOGETHER AGAIN AND TAKE THIS TO ITS CONCLUSION ---- NO. 1!!!

I am waiting for official confirmation of our position which I will know in the next few days. Subject to confirmation, there will be another round of voting to determine the final five projects to get funding. The US CFC team is now at work to collate and provide all the details on this. I am sure it will be a tougher round and the top teams stand to make AT LEAST $100K in funding.

Other quick highlights: In the final 4 hours, we slipped from No. 21 to 23 as other groups pounded on the AmEx website to register their nominations. As we approach the next round of nominations, please remember that it counts to be engaged all the way to the very end. We cannot let up!

Jai Guru Dev!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Reminder

Guys its only 12 hours or so to go for the AMEX project
We are at about 23now, need to get into the top 20 please... so need another 400 votes and 12 hours to go...
Please go vote!!!
Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Ashram Memories

Last YES!+ advanced course in the ashram was a Sattvic blast!

600 young people from all over India and a sprinkling from abroad arrived at the ashram for the YES!+ advance course. The sad part was that we had to refuse a little over 200 ‘cos the ashram was stretched to capacity (acco wise) and they were not quick enough to act on the registration (habits, patterns, old and new impressions made them believe everything can be done by trying in the last minute of the eleventh hour). Alas!

The excitement in the air was at its peak since four fifths of them were coming to the ashram for the first time. It reminded me of my first advance course back in ‘95 and how we could feel the energy from a few kilometers away while riding in the bus on route to the ashram.

By the way, those who came a day earlier (always a good idea) were treated to a session of Mathemagic with Bawa.

The YES!+ stay was in Khodays – a hostel style acco just across the ashram border, very much like the IIT hostel I stayed in with 280 rooms with 4 wings (2 for girls and 2 for boys).

Some of the early birds who arrived first chose the rooms closer to the stairs to avoid walking all the way down the corridor and others chose to leave that convenience to those coming later. The later who thought about others were rewarded with the best view of the entire ashram from their rooms.

Coincidentally that night Guruji spoke about Tyagabuddhi (an attitude of sacrifice), how you open yourself to receiving the highest with tyaga. I felt the creation is truly a play of paradoxes – when you let go something dear, the best gets to you.

I visited and saw the rooms they were staying in in the afternoon and taught a few disgruntled participants to flush the toilet. Guruji also visited in the night and he too went into the rooms and even in the toilets to see everything was in order. I felt good about myself for having the foresight to check everything and not to mention that the girls and the boys in their night clothes were thrilled to bits seeing him when they least expected… and prayed most…

The day of talking was incredibly boisterous and yet it brought an amazing sense of serenity in its passing. You have heard about the evening in Roma and an evening in Paris, but the evening in the ashram is something to live for and sing about. Ashram is an enchanting land, sizzling with magic at every step. Steeped in tradition, rooted in ancient wisdom and dazzling with new born freshness. The evening in the ashram ambience is when nature shamelessly romances and flirts with the spirit of every thing and every being – trees, clouds, birds, animals, humans and even stones. The cool weather and the heady and lingering breeze caressing the leaves in the trees and delightfully ruffling the garments on the body and anything that falls in its way. The ashram breeze copiously suffused with sattva never fails to tickle my prana to an intoxicating high!

As silence descended over the ashram, the love became more and more dense, intense and palpable. The meditations were blissful, the processes; thought silencing and joy provoking.

Teeny weeny tiny bit of discontent that people had for staying in Khoday’s and doing the advance course in kitchen top and not in Vishalakshi, was soon doused by an overwhelming sense of contentment. We usually go to a shrine or a place of worship and meditate there to soak in the pure and powerful vibrations of sattva there. Imagine living in it the whole day, makes every cell of the being pulsating and sparkling with Sssshivaaa energy…

The divine is singing to you through the birds. (Guruji had once started a meditation with that line). So true!!! When all the birds are celebrating their evening home coming, the participants too were feeling more and more by the day that they have reached home. And truly there is no place on the planet like home.

On day three, Guruji came to the session and walked in between rows of jubilant participants and mass hysteria (more of miss hersteria).

And yet everyone was disciplined and hence Guruji had the freedom to do what he wanted and needed. More than pushing one selves onto him, the youngsters followed the principle of pulling him to them by their devotion and intensity of longing. After the darshan (blessings), we all sat silently with eyes closed and immersed ourselves with the shower of blessings.

The knowledge that Guruji showered in Satsang was delicious, delectable and delightful about which I will blog here and there.

The last day after the last process, as everyone opened their eyes, there was Guruji sitting in the teacher’s seat. People rubbed their eyes, they jumped out of their seats cos for the life of them, they could not believe that Guruji was actually there. It took a full half hour of spontaneous sharing by almost everyone how they were praying deeply that Guruji should come right away. And Guruji had to make an absolutely unscheduled visit to be with them. It is said “Bhakt bhagavan ko sirf bhav se bandh sakte hai”. You can pull god only with devotion.

And He in turn pulls you totally by his love. Give the best of your excuses, but you will get pulled to the ashram on 9th September for the 10-14 September (Bawa’s Birthday Special) YES!+ Advance Course.

And here's Guruji saying bye before leaving on a day trip to Mysore this morning after Rudra Pooja...

Jai Gurudev

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Aglio e Olio

Very tasty, very classy and extremely quick spaghetti to make ...

Though strictly speaking aglio e olio means only garlic and olive oil, i like to add just a teeny bit of other veggies to give it colour and make it more interesting!

For 4 people, you will need

3/4th a packet of whole wheat spaghetti
7 pieces of sun dried tomato
A handful of French Beans chopped long and thin
1 small carrot chopped thin
a small handful of green peas parboiled
Olive Oil
10-12 fresh Basil leaves
2-3 (depending on how garlicky you want it) small pieces of (a full) garlic either chopped fine or crushed
1 dried red chilly (you may add more to make it spicier or not add it at all for a blander taste)
Salt to taste

In a large pan, add a tablespoon of salt and some olive oil to water and heat to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10-12 minutes (look on the packet for directions). Remove from heat, drain and put aside.

In a large saucepan, heat a generous amount of olive oil and a dollop of butter. Add the red chilly and the crushed garlic and cook until the garlic turns brown. Add the veggies (first the french beans, then the carrots and finally the sun dried tomatoes and the green peas) and saute them until they are cooked. Add the spaghetti and toss the whole thing until all the spaghetti is well coated, you may add just a little bit more of the olive oil if you think the whole thing is too dry...

Serve hot. Usually served with different types of bread, i like mine solo.

Feel free to add or subtract the veggies, you could add mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, etc to it... simply remember that the veggies should be just a very tiny part of the whole thing. You could even add some grated cheddar cheese or shavings of parmesan cheese right on top while serving. If you make a soup to go along with this, it makes a brilliant complete meal.

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, August 30, 2008

AMEX and Art of Living

Hi everyone
Jai Gurudeva!

All of us could potentially see to it that a nice partnership can be formed between AMEX and Art of Living... read on...

AMEX (American Express) has offered USD$2.5 million for a Service project that will be chosen among many that people all over have put up on their website... The process of choosing is simple... people vote, the top 25 projects will be reviewed and considered for the grant... There are many interesting projects out there... AND Art of Living has 2 projects, who need votes to get into the top 25 (about 600 votes away)... i would prefer them to get into the top 5 :) (about 4000 votes away)

Could whoever reading this please goto their site and vote for these 2 projects?

You can sign in as a card member if you own an AMEX card, or you can sign in as a guest as well... and you can do so anonymously too!

So please, take a few minutes out and go vote for these projects... btw, you can vote for multiple projects, so if any other catches your eye, feel free to vote for those as well :)

Voting stops on Monday the 1st of September, so PLEASE do it now!! :)

here is what you do:

1. Click the links below
2. SIGN in either using your American Express Card Membership or as a guest. (When u click the link below, a window opens and bottom right there's guest signup, go signup and assign yourself a screen name)
3. Once you have registered,window automatically opens to the project selected. Click the Nomination Button. Thats it!

Jharkhand Tribal Project

End Gang and Youth violence in California

Once you have done it, PLEASE leave a comment here to let me know that you did it :)

Also get friends, relatives, family, etc to do it... It will be great if Art of Living can have a partnership with AMEX to do the fantastic work that it is anyways doing!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

An Interesting Equation

Many charming stories about Lord Krishna are told... One of them is about His fight with the Serpent King Kaaliya. The (very) young Krishna jumps into the waters of a lake known to be inhabited by an extremely poisonous many hooded snake called Kaaliya. He emerges victorious (of course!) and is seen dancing on the many hoods of the snake.

As a "punishment", He charges the snake to become the guardian of the very waters he terrorized and protect the nearby villagers from other demons, etc.

Its a beautiful story... told to all young children in India and i think the world over to illustrate the bravery and spunk of Lord Krishna... but there is a fantastic interpretation that Guruji told us and it really blew my mind away when i heard it for the first time...

A snake signifies awareness, a heightened alertness, a desire for absolute perfection. And when a person has this, he becomes quite a terror to people around him, constantly berating them, scolding them because very few, if any, can live up to their standards. A person who is not so alert is very easy to get along with... but a person who has high standards and expects everyone around him to toe the line continuously becomes very much like Kaaliya the snake, spitting poison and fire on all around him :)

Krishna signifies Love. When Love is dancing on top of Kaaliya... When Love has defeated Kaaliya, then the same person who was earlier a source of fear to his surroundings, becomes a source of great peace...

Krishna brings about a very interesting equation:

Absolute perfection + Love = Bliss
for the person concerned as well as the people around him!

Krishna doesn't kill the snake, He just subdues it and then charges it to protect! So the Lord appreciates perfection, only by His presence (dancing on the heads of perfection) he converts a malignant terror into a benevolent guardian!

So all you perfectionists out there reading this... tinge your perfection with love (keep the Lord in your mind at all times, allow Him to dance on your head...) and give birth to Bliss inside you as well as all around you! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photographic proof that water exists on Mars!!!

i know i know... its really sick :)... but it made me laugh out loud!

Jai Gurudeva!


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Krishna and Kaaliya

When Krishna was very young, he was the epi center of many miracles and charming stories...

An extremely poisonous King Serpent called Kaaliya made a home for himself in one of the lagoons of the Yamuna near Vrindavan. He was so very poisonous, that all the fish in the lagoon died, and even the plants and trees near the water's edge started to wilt. It is said that the vapours emanating from Kaaliya were so poisonous that even birds flying above the waters would drop dead from the sky. He was horrific and malignant.

Krishna with his friends used to take the cows to graze in the forests of Vrindavan and got to know about this terrible snake. He decided to put an end to the monster and boldly jumped into the lake and made lots of loud noises and splashed about in the water to challenge Kaaliya. Soon the fiercesome beast rose out of the water spitting fire and poison making feral hissing noises intent on the destruction of this insignificant (so he thought) protagonist. He wrapped the little Krishna in his enormous coils and to the horror of Krishna's watching friends dived into the lake with him...

The waters of the lagoon roiled and boiled, and big bubbles came to the surface ans burst and for a long time there was no sign of Krishna... His friends panicked and rushed to the village to call the elders and soon the entire village was assembled at the lake side, praying fervently for Krishna's deliverance... By now the fight must have been very deep in the water or the snake may have overwhelmed Krishna and gone into deep waters... there was no sign of any activity... and many of the gopis were openly bemoaning and crying about their lost little one...

When Suddenly, the waters parted and the enormous, fearsome Kaaliya with his many hoods emerged out of the lake... but his once proud heads were bowed and he looked a little sheepish... when everyone joyously noticed that the young Krishna was merrily dancing on the the hoods of Kaaliya... A great shout and a huge sigh of relief went out from the crowd and big time celebrations started to felicitate this great victory... Krishna went to the shores and charged the defeated great snake to become the guardian of the lake and protect the villagers from other miscreants and demons... and the one time terror of the Yamuna Lagoon became the protector and guardian... All praised and revered and thanked the Little Lord Krishna...

Isn't that a really lovely story? There is an even better interpretation to it... you guessed it, you will read about it tomorrow! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Divine Romance

Krishna's love affair with Radha is perhaps the most controversial in the Epics... She had a steady job, a family, a husband... she left all that and went after Krishna! She was older than Krishna, that fact alone disqualifies her :) In fact there are certain sects of Hindus who do not believe that she even existed, because the entire romance is a slap in the face of all traditions and systems :)

But there is a secret here: Radha means longing, Krishna fulfillment. So she has to be older than Him. First there has to be longing, only then can fulfillment dawn. She had all this family and job etc., which she left for Krishna... This means that all of us have the Longing for the Divine, but we try to fill that with material things, and it never gets filled... it only intensifies. When Krishna (the Divine) comes into our lives then we need to let go of all that, just as Radha did and soak in the Bliss of being with the Divine!

If we turn the word Radha around, it become Dhara, which means to flow away. Opposite of flowing away is flowing towards. Radha means flowing towards... and flowing towards whom? Govind!

Go in Sanskrit stands for Knowledge. Go-vind is the Giver of Knowledge. So instead of our mind flowing away into the maya of the world, flow towards Govind... the Giver of Knowledge! This is what Radhe Govind means!!

Gopal means the protector of Knowledge, the preserver of Knowledge. Go can also mean "way". and so Go-pal becomes the one who protects you on the "way", on the path... Radhe Gopal, is Go to the one who will protect you, take care of you on your journey through Life...

Radhe Govind, Radhe Gopal, Radhe Krishna!! How the epics have guarded these great secrets in simple beautiful stories! and How very fortunate we all are that we have Guruji to decode these secrets for us and make them applicable and relevant even in this age of the technology!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Radha was very special to Krishna... Here is one of the most beautiful stories about Radha that i know:

Much after Vrindavan, when Krishna was relaxing with his many wives, Rukmini his head wife threw a tantrum... All the time i hear Radhe Krishna, Radhe Govind... she is not even married to you... how come no one sings about Rukmini, or for that matter any of the other of your wives?! Whats wrong with us?... etc, etc :)

Krishna listened patiently and then suddenly held his head and complained of a head ache. Now Rukmini felt sorry, and became all loving and docile again... but the head ache refused to go... Each wife had her own suggestion about what to do... some pressed feet, others did some aroma therapy, still others made pastes from herbs... 16000+ cures were presented, none worked, his head ache only grew worse...

Narada the travelling Muni then made an appearance (Besides being a Muni, he was also something of a doctor) and he examined Krishna, felt his pulse, etc and then proclaimed that Krishna was suffering from a very rare type of a headache... one that could only be cured by a Beloved of Krishna putting his or her foot on Krishna's head... Krishna was in bed moaning softly, and the wives and the courtiers of the palace had a conference... They were all beloved of Krishna, but none dared to put their foot on the Lord's head, doing so would mean an eternity in Hell! and they were pondering and wondering what to do...

... and the news reached Radha in Vrindavan about Krishna's ill health and she rushed to his palace and when appraised of everything, asked immidiately to be taken to Krishna, she would happily put her foot on His head... Rukmini, the other wives and the rest of the palace was aghast at her quick decision... Rukmini herself told her that if she Radha did that, she would burn in hell forever...

If my Lord gets even one second of relief from his pain, then i will willingly go to hell forever said Radha as she ran to her Krishna and put her foot on his head, curing Him completely...

An abashed Rukmini along with all the other wives touched Radha's feet and realised how deep her love for Krishna was... and why people for centuries to come will sing Radhe Krishna!!

May our love for Guruji be like Radha's love for Krishna!

Jai Gurudeva!

ps More about Radha and Krishna tomorrow...  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Which Geeta?

Guruji has mentioned many times that everyone should read the Bhagawad Gita... Few people have asked which Bhagawad Geeta they should read...

Any one they care to... Guruji once mentioned don't bother reading any of the interpretations or commentaries... just read the literal translation in the language of your choice or you could read the original in sanskrit if you understand it :)

The Bhagawad Geeta from Gita Press is the one i use (Guruji had recommended it a very long time ago).

You can get it from any Indian Book store, Giri stores at Matunga in Mumbai for example... i am sure even crossword carries it.

Happpy Reading!
Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

A very young Michael Phelps

I simply couldn't resist this one :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


If we look at the form of Krishna, we are enthralled by His beauty and Grace, but there are many secrets here as well!

First off, He is always pictured blue... this doesn't mean that He was blue in colour :) ... blue is the colour of the sky and signifies that like the the sky which has vastness and infinity, Krishna was also vastness and infinity personified.

Then He wears a peacock feather as his crown. Now a crown looks very beautiful, but with all that gold and diamonds and stuff can be very heavy, meaning that to anyone looking at a King or a Queen, they will look wonderful and everyone will want to be like them, but to the King wearing it, it is heavy with responsibility of managing the Kingdom. Though Krishna is the Master of the entire universe, He takes His immense responsibility with the lightness of a feather! And the beauty of the peacock feather can rival the beauty of any ruby and diamond studded crown :)

He is usually depicted standing on one foot, the other a little lifted, as if dancing... One foot on the ground shows complete groundedness, firmly in the material world and you can see that from His life, from extreme mischief as a small child, to flirtatious romances as a youth, marriage to 16000 women :), helping with elopement, playing a major political role in one of the biggest wars, giving the ultimate Knowledge... the list goes on... He lived a very full life, yet the other foot off the ground showed His spiritual side, His mysticism, His depth... No one really knew Him or could even know Him...

You can go through life with both feet on the ground meaning you are only in the material world, and you go through life standing... and there are a few who lift both feet off and fall, try to be only "spiritual"... and a select few perfectly balance both the aspects, and they dance!

Looking at Him you realise you could stand, fall or dance! through life :)...

Radha is his most beloved among all the gopis, but even she is jealous of his flute, coz the flute always stays with him. The flute has seven holes. Enchanting, captivating, bliss inducing music can be played from a flute only if it is hollow and empty.

Our body also has seven chakras... When we become hollow and empty, then Krishna's breath flows through us, and we become an instrument of the Divine... Our words are His words, our actions are His actions. We become pockets of tranquility and bliss. And then we are always with Him. Just like His flute! :)

Hollow and Empty happens effortlessly on Adv courses, and just for everyone's info, the next Adv course for YES!+ is from 10th to 14th September... do come!

Will write about Radha tomorrow... stay tuned! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

ps Guruji has been saying that everyone should read the Bhagawad Geeta at least once! I did and am now quite addicted, its such superb Knowledge, so simple and so deep!  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, August 25, 2008


Tonight is Janmashtami... The Birthnight of Lord Krishna

His birth is quite a story which most know... so here it is very briefly...

The evil King Kans threw Vasudev and Devki (his sister) into prison because it was prophesied that their eighth child would kill him. So child after child was born in prison to the hapless couple and mercilessly butchered by Kans... Until the time came for the eighth one. Devki fully pregnant was blooming with Divinity and Kans could see his doom being created in his siter's womb.

He doubled trebled quadrupled the guards outside the cell of Devaki and Vasudev, giving them strict instructions to inform him as soon as the baby was born. But right at the stroke of midnight, a little more than 5000 years ago, all the guards fell asleep, the chains that bound Vasudev and Devaki dropped off and Lord Krishna entered the world!

Vasudev quickly bundled up the baby, put him in a basket and hurried to Yashodha on the other side of the Yamuna. It was a dark stormy night and the Yamuna was swollen and the rain was fierce, but Vasudev in the few precious moments he knew he had just waded in and the Yamuna rose and rose all the way to his head, then the baby Krishna stuck his feet out of the basket and the water touched the feet and receded.

Vasudev reached Yashodha who was sleeping peacefully having just delivered a baby girl and exchanged the two babies, and rushed back without incident into the jail... and the spell was broken, the baby cried and the guards rushed and informed Kans who rushed in snatched the baby and tried to kill her, but the legend goes that it flew out of his wicked hands shouting to him that his destroyer lives!

Of course Krishna defeated and killed the evil Kans later ... but that's another story :)

Now here is a beautiful interpretation of the story of the birth of Krishna... Guruji had talked about this years ago on one of the Janamashtami Celebrations

Vasudev means the Breath and Devki is the Body. Kans is the ego. The guards and the chains the 5 senses. Through the union of Body and Breath, Krishna (Bliss) can be born. And when does Bliss come? When all the chains drop off and the guards are asleep... when the 5 senses are conquered... But Body and Breath alone cannot sustain Bliss... They can give birth to Bliss, but for sustaining Bliss, Love is needed and so Vasudev carries Krishna over to Yashodha who is the embodiment of Love, who nurtures and brings up Krishna!

And of course it is Krishna (Bliss) nurtured by Yashodha (Love) who finally destroys Kans (ego) and frees Vasudev and Devaki (Body and Breath)!

Janmashtami is the celebration of the glorious Birth of Lord Krishna!

Happy Janamashtami!

Jai Gurudeva!

ps The Yamuna rising and rising indicates that in life sometimes, trouble may come and engulf you all the way to your head... but if you have got God with you, then you can never drown! Just surrender and know that you are being taken care of, and do whatever it is you have to! Guruji had once mentioned that when you have a Guru, you can never fall... you may even have the experience of falling, but you cannot fall!

pps will write more about Krishna in the coming week... would you guys like that? :)  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Few interesting questions in the comments section of the previous week's posts... Here are my responses :)

1. In India only Parsis are allowed into Fire Temples... though i have heard that in Iran anyone can go into a Fire Temple... The photo of the Fire Temple in the post is from Yazd in Iran

2. I hunt for the photos myself all over the net and find royalty free photos i can use for the posts... sometimes it takes longer to find the right photo than write out the post :) A few times rupal (rupal.x@gmail.com) who is a fantastic designer does some photoshop effects to a photo if i just can't find the one that i want!

3. Humakta Hukta Havarashtha are words in the ancient Persian language of Avestha... just a handful of people on the planet understand it now... however the prayers that are chanted in this ancient tongue are very powerful and set up beautiful profound vibration for the chanter and the environment around him!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, August 22, 2008

Doc for a Day

Parsis love to laugh... here is an absolute gem! :)

A doctor wanted to bunk his practice for a day and go out and play golf... so he got his assistant to take care of the clinic while he was away...

When he returned in the evening, he asked the assistant (Johnny) how things went during the day... Johnny said he treated 3 patients!

Doc was quite impressed and asked him what he did...

Well, the first patient came in and said he had a bad headache and a fever so i gave him some paracetemol and he felt good in just a few minutes... doc says very good!

and the second one came and said he was having stomach ache, so i gave him some Alka Seltzer... the doc was really happy... he said well done Johnny! You have really got the hang of this haven't you?!

After that Johnny continued, a woman came rushing in! and she started removing all her clothes!! and she said help me help me!!! and she got onto the table completely naked!!!! and she screamed i have not seen a man in 3 years!!!!!!

The doc said ye gads! by jove! so what did you do Johnny??!!

Weeelll says Johnny, I put some drops in her eyes!! :)  

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Happy Pateti!!

A greeting we keep hearing so much we have forgotten what Pateti actually means... Pateti is the last day of the year... and is actually the Day of Repentance! Its on this day that you are supposed to feel sorry for any mistakes or any harm that you may have caused knowingly or unknowingly to anything or anybody... Remember Humakta, Hukta, Havarashtha? I call them the 3 Hs, and they stand for Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. The 3 Hs are the corner stone of the Parsi (Zoroastrian) Faith...

And so on the day of Patet, or Pateti, we are supposed to sincerely repent and surrender all those things that we have done which were against the 3 Hs... and cleanse ourselves through prayer so that we can begin totally fresh, again on the new day of the new year, Navroz...

The very endearing greeting Navroz Mubarak (or Saal Mubarak) then really makes complete sense! So a Happy Pateti happens only when the entire (previous) year has been spent in doing the 3 Hs... Otherwise its really a day of cleansing, of silence, of repentance, of introspection...

Art of Living manages to make Parsis and others follow the 3 Hs through the 3 Ss: Sadhana (meditation), Satsang (Company of the truth) and Seva (Selfless Service, being available and doing whats most needed to be done)... Little wonder that our family as fairly orthodox and devout Parsis took to Art of Living and Guruji and the Knowledge as eager fish to water!! :)

There is a lot more there is to say about my noble religion and many more stories racing around in my head, but we will save those for some other time... I had a truly memorable week going over and sharing these stories with all of you, which my grandparents used to tell me...

Once again Navroz Mubarak!!... Have a fantastic New Year, and hopefully next year, we will all have a really Happy Pateti! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

ps No write up about the Parsis is complete without at least one recipe... Click Dhandar Patio for my version of this wonderful meal which is made on all celebratory occasions... Make it this weekend for the family and if you are living alone invite a few friends over ... The other very famous Parsi preparation is Dhan Shakh... You will just have to wait until I write it out... :)

pps Vikram, Dinesh and me are in Calcutta with 1200+ participants on the first Calcutta Utsav! Photos and some news from here over the weekend...  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

The Secret of the Elements

Click The Essence of Fire to read about it: Basically Fire burns away impurities and negativity, enhances positivity...

Guruji went on. Lets take a look at the essence of the other elements too. The essence of water is adaptability. Water will take the shape of any container however twisted, it is poured into. Become adaptable like water! (and i thought that’s true Parsis are very adaptable... from warriors to farmers and businessmen!)

Air is everywhere! Same way you too are everywhere. Don’t ever think that you are only in this little body. You are vast and everywhere just like air! (Thats the reason why the environment can affect you. Sit in a busy market, even with eyes closed and ears jammed, and you will feel tired after a bit. Sit in a peaceful garden for a little while and you will feel refreshed... this can happen only if you extend beyond the body! and yes, the parsis though so few in number not even a few hundred thousand left, some people say only 80,000 are still breathing on the planet are literally everywhere! Holding all sorts of positions too:)... The Tatas for example actually contribute to 7% of the GDP of India!)

The essence of the Earth element is acceptance. Earth accepts everything and everyone. You can sit on the earth, spit on the earth, build on the earth, walk, run , play... whatever... Earth has unconditional acceptance... (and to an extent i find the Parsis the most accepting of their destinies, they go their merry way through life)

Finally the essence of Space is Being a 100% involved but also at the same time a 100% detached. All creation happens in Space. So Space is a 100% involved in Dance of Creation. But at the same time is utterly unaffected by it. This detached involvement is the essence of Space.

So When you have the acceptance of Earth (take the Bh of Bhoomi which is the Sanskrit for Earth), the ability to enhance positivity and burn away negativity of Fire ( the ga from Agani which is Fire in Sanskrit), the all prevailingness of the Air element (v from Vaayu, sanskrit for Air), also you have perfected the Art of being 100% involved yet 100% detached, the essence of the Space element (aa from Akash which is Space in Sanskrit) and you have developed the adaptability of water (n from Neer meaning water in sanskrit)... then you put those together, you get Bh-ga-v-aa-n!

When you have the essences of all the elements You are Bhagavan. You are God!

And that’s what the Parsis are striving for through their worship of Fire and Nature... What a wonderful religion! :) What a fantastic interpretation!

Thank You Guruji... You gave me back my pride in being a Parsi, my roots and my heritage!

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why do Parsis worship the Fire?

One thing lead to another, you can click The Holy Fire and read about it... and One day I asked Guruji, why do Parsis worship the Fire?!

He replied, Look at the essence of Fire. If you put Gold with some impurities in Fire. What happens? The impurities are burned away and the value of the Gold is enhanced! So, not only does Fire burn away the negativity, it also enhances positivity!

He added gently that's what the Parsis have done. Fearlessly defended the weak, stood against whats wrong and gracefully enhanced whats right and good... throughout the History of the Parsis in India, thats what this noble race has done!

For the first time in so many years, i was proud to be a parsi! :)

He then continued, but thats not all... Parsis dont only worship the Fire, they worship Nature. They worship all the five elements! Fire is just the symbol. and I thought thats right! In every Fire Temple, of course there is the Fire, but there is also a well and a tree and some animals, which are also worshiped!

...You will have to wait till tomorrow for the Secret of the other Elements!...

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Holy Fire

Parsis worship Ahura Mazda (our name of God) through revering and worshiping nature. And our symbol is Fire. Each Fire Temple has a consecrated holy fire that is kept (smoldering) burning night and day. Each fire is lit with a spark of the original Atash Badshah (now housed in Udvada in Gujarat), and so it is quite difficult to start a new Fire Temple. The Fire is fed ONLY with Sandal wood. 5 times in 24 hours special prayers are chanted and the Fire is restoked with the offerings of devotees.

I was born and grew up in Bombay in a very loving and a very Parsi family. Now, most people don’t believe this but right from the beginning i hated heat. Even though i was born in Bombay which can get very hot during the year... and so going to the Fire Temple during the blistering heat of Bombay (especially in summers) was not something i looked forward to :)

As a small child i often asked mom why we worshiped the Fire. Why could we not worship ice! :) She would reply by saying that Fire burns away all the negativity, all things bad, and so we worship Fire. This was an acceptable answer until i started questioning it further...

One Diwali, i burned myself lightly and went to mom and said why did Fire burn me?

Fire is our friend, our God and supposed to burn away negative things! Did that mean i was negative or bad?!

We worship the Fire because we worship the Fire. Stop asking silly questions. Shut up and Pray!

And so, by the time i was 18 years old, Religion and Fire worship was a waste of time as far as i was concerned... until i did the Art of Living course and met Guruji... and my entire view of the Parsi faith changed!

One day I asked Guruji, why do Parsis worship the Fire... What He said, you will read tomorrow! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saal Mubarak!!

Today is Parsi New Year. And Srividya from Poona called me yesternight and requested me to post some things about Parsis this week... so here goes...

The Parsis were a warrior race originating in ancient Persia a few thousand years ago. They were known for their bravery, their amazing intellectual achievements and their devotion to their religion which was given to them by their prophet Zarathustra.

The percepts of the religion are very simple: Humakta: Good Thoughts, Hukta: Good Words and Havarashtha: Good Deeds. Parsis worship God (Ahura Mazda) through His creations, all of nature is revered. And their symbol is the Atash Badshah, The Holy Fire.

The muslim scourge and many unfortunate betrayals forced this once mighty race to its knees and millions were butchered and entire libraries of intellectual thought, science and arts burned to the ground by the islamic fundamentalists and terrorists.

Just three boat loads of Parsis escaped Persia with their beloved Holy Fire and their one remaining Holy Book, The Zend Avesta and after a harrowing voyage on stormy seas landed on the shores of India, seeking sanctuary in the Kingdom of Sanjan in present day Gujarat.

The King of Sanjan received these hardy and battle worn Sanctuary seekers with respect and awe. However, when the Parsi High priest approached him and made a plea to him that they be allowed to make India their home, the King refused saying that his Kingdom was already full and though he would have loved to give sanctuary and welcome the Parsis, he had no choice but to turn them down... He symbolically showed the High Priest a glass of milk filled to the brim, saying that his Kingdom was like that... much as he would have loved to have them, there was simply no place.

The High Priest smiled and asked for some sugar. He added the sugar into the glass full of milk and stirred it in thoroughly without spilling a drop. And said, just like this sugar, we will blend into India. And we will make it sweeter for having us...

The delighted King immediately declared that the Parsis were welcomed in India. But he was fearful of their strong bodies bristling with muscles and their mean looking weapons, so he put a few conditions. That the Parsis surrender their weapons and embrace peace. And that they should not inter marry or convert people (of India) to their religion. The High Priest readily agreed asking in return only that no non Parsi should ever be allowed into their Fire temples where the Holy Fire would be kept, so that the Holy Fire would always be protected and secure. The King nodded his assent.

The Parsis dropped their warrior training and became peace loving farmers and business men... and so, till today that ancient promise made to the King of Sanjan has been honoured...

And we moved into the Holy land of India and right through history since, have lived up to our promise of blending in and making each place we go to, or are in, sweeter because of us!

Saal Mubarak!

May everyone have a Blessed New Year!!

Jai Gurudeva!!!

ps more posts about Parsis in this week...  

Stumble Upon Toolbar

"Magical Template" designed by Blogger Buster